David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

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Yahoo and web design quality

A recent patent application by Yahoo makes it clear that it has plans to look at the quality of a web page in terms of layout and design as part of its ranking algorithm.  Careful – I did not say that it does or it will, just that it has plans.Yahoo’s reasoning is solid.  A web page that is full of clutter, where it’s hard to find where to go, if not a page that will please the searcher.  And Yahoo, like all search engines, wants to please the searcher.In its patent application, Yahoo lists 52 elements it might consider when deciding whether a web page is cluttered or not.

  • Total number of links
  • Total number of words
  • Total number of images (non-ad images)
  • Image area above the fold (non-ad images)
  • Dimensions of page
  • Page area (total)
  • Page length
  • Total number of tables
  • Maximum table columns (per table)
  • Maximum table rows (per table)
  • Total rows
  • Total columns
  • Total cells
  • Average cell padding (per table)
  • Average cell spacing (per table)
  • Dimensions of fold
  • Fold area
  • Location of center of fold relative to center of page
  • Total number of font sizes used for links
  • Total number of font sizes used for headings
  • Total number of font sizes used for body text
  • Total number of font sizes
  • Presence of “tiny” text
  • Total number of colors (excluding ads)
  • Alignment of page elements
  • Average page luminosity
  • Fixed vs. relative page width
  • Page weight (proxy for load time)
  • Total number of ads
  • Total ad area
  • Area of individual ads
  • Area of largest ad above the fold
  • Largest ad area
  • Total area of ads above the fold
  • Page space allocated to ads
  • Total number of external ads above the fold
  • Total number of external ads below the fold
  • Total number of external ads
  • Total number of internal ads above the fold
  • Total number of internal ads below the fold
  • Total number of internal ads
  • Number of sponsored link ads above the fold
  • Number of sponsored link ads below the fold
  • Total number of sponsored link ads
  • Number of image ads above the fold
  • Number of image ads below the fold
  • Total number of image ads
  • Number of text ads above the fold
  • Number of text ads below the fold
  • Total number of text ads
  • Position of ads on page

 This is actually a superb website review checklist.  Go through your website and see how it stacks up on most of these items.  Keep in mind that there are reasons you might want to violate some of these principles, but in general you would want your website to meet most of these criteria in order to please your visitors and convert them into customers.  And soon, you might also please Yahoo.

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5 Responses to “Yahoo and web design quality”

  1. Pamela Egan (1 comments) Says:

    What is meant by the terms “above” and “below the fold”?

    What is this fold, and why is it relevant if content and links are placed above or below it?

  2. admin (7 comments) Says:

    Hi Pamela.

    The above and below the fold terminology comes from the world of newspapers, specifically broadsheets (not tabloids). Many newspapers charge more for ad placements “above the fold”, where they tend to be more visible.

    On the Web, above the fold is generally what you can see without scrolling down. The relevance, for Yahoo’s clutter analysis, is that ads above the fold get in the way of usability, or so I assume until somebody comes up with a better theory. :-)

  3. maiylah's snippets (1 comments) Says:

    thanks for this list; now I know my blog is cluttered, so I’d better clean it up! LOL :D
    thanks, too, for the visit!

  4. Scully (1 comments) Says:

    Interesting post – and it’s fascinating to see how Yahoo will (hopefully) start to reward well thought-out and designed sites. But without any specifics, how do we know how many is too many?

  5. Bingo Fan (1 comments) Says:

    I think it is time to look at my website because yahoo is gonna look at and start laughing. Thanks for all the info on how to set the website up and have everyone happy.

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